Sometimes all I can do is sit and cry

I remember as a kid taking time to lie in the grass, look up at the sky and discover a world of cloud shaped wonders. Once I saw a bunny eat an elephant, then it pooped out a bear. It seems the impossible can happen with a little bit of imagination and a sky full of clouds. I mean, who ever heard of a bunny eating an elephant before? But I saw it happen right before my very eyes.

Those carefree times don’t happen so much any more. I’m not as prone to pause life to look up at the sky in search of familiar shapes…but I should. I should slow down to enjoy life more and to allow myself to be me. We all should. Do you realize this very moment can never be refunded or returned? It has to be used as is, right now.

That’s not always so easy to do when dealing with a chronic illness. Especially when the challenges facing you seem bigger than life itself. The spasticity in my legs and right arm have increased by a gazillion times over the past month. I am finding it harder and harder to move my right leg altogether. And the pain that accompanies the muscle tightness is killer. Like scream-as-loud-as-you-can-because-it-hurts pain.

Sometimes all I can do is sit and cry. So do you know what I do? I sit and cry. That’s right. I have no secret remedy for how to face the pain graciously. But I do believe in allowing yourself the freedom to express your emotions whether they be tears, laughter or screams.

I remember one day sitting in my car in the parking lot at the grocery store screaming. I was still able to walk, but by time I had finished shopping and made my way back to the car, I was so weak that all I could do was sit and scream. So I did. I’m sure the shoppers passing by thought I was completely nuts. But I didn’t care. It helped me vent my frustrations. Then I took a deep breath, wiped away the tears and drove home feeling much better.

When facing difficult times, I have found some of my most therapeutic moments have been when I have taken the time to pause and allow myself to simply be. To allow the emotions to spill out for a moment, then take time to notice life like I did as a child. To look around at all the wonder that there truly is in life. To enjoy the tiny little kisses life gives us: the flowers swaying in the wind, the sound of children laughing, the smell of a freshly cut lawn. There’s a pause button in every day, you just have to choose to use it.

No matter what you are facing, whether it be difficulties in your marriage, relationship troubles, problems at work, stress over finances, or simply having an “MS is kicking my butt” kind of day…pause and take time to simply be! Twenty minutes…that’s all you need…just twenty minutes to yourself. Those twenty minutes will be worth the investment. Trust me.

Now I’m off to spend some time curled up in my favorite chair as I sip some coffee and watch the sun come up. It’s a new day filled with new possibilities.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

44 replies
  1. Barbara Lartigau says:

    You know, I’ve had this situation, I don’t even call it a disease, for 9 years now. And I truly thank Wal-Mart, 2253, in El Cajon-Lakeside for putting up with my days. If it wasn’t for this job that I have, had going on 16 years, the people my associates which I call my second family, I don’t think, I know I wouldn’t be walking today. Each day I have something to get up for, it may take a while, but I get myself together and head to work. For those that have seen me at my worse and at my best, they’re my family. It helps out to know you always have someone on your side. Then my home life is the same. Always there for me. Im very blessed. Just hang there, don’t let it bring you down, that’s my motto.. God blessed us with this cause we’re the one’s that can handle it. Exercise is the key. Just keep moving!!!!

  2. Gemma Harris says:

    Hugs for you. Xxx it’s good to just let it all in every now and then. I’m just too scared to open that door. But then I’m lucky with my disease at the moment xx

  3. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope I have a dodgy right leg too but we live in a right-hand drive country and guess were my right leg goes.. I haven’t been able to drive for a yer ar so and it’s getting hard to take care of Janice when she needs it. Like today with a possibility of appendicitis coming out an I can’t do anything to help only rely on others to o that. This is very frustrating for me an I have to work it out.

  4. Robin Francis says:

    Sometimes all we need to do is cry to get all out emotions out and we then carry on our day in a positive way , I’m at the moment struggling with ms and remembering to look after myself but look after my wonderful papa who as secondary spinal cancer for which I get loads of wonderful support and so I forget about my ms as my papa is my priority and I’m his carer and I have outside help . So I cry a lot and it’s great and people are so kind

  5. Isabella Visser says:

    Thanks for sharing……….i also cry a lot these days, tomorrow it is 16 years ago that i get the diagnose ms….it was the darkest day of my life!!!!! So i’m very sad and cry a lot….. :'( :'( 🙁 😮

  6. Snježana Veber says:

    I am so sad today because my ms doctor do not support me, my problems and acuse me ….oh you are just in the bad mode!!! Now I am sad, angry, without any hope for right medical help! I cant even cry…..

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Snjezana Veber, Hi my name is Joy and I gone through what you are. I had to see a few different doc’s before I found one that cares about all the way around. But I am still alone. Days without talking to someone.. I’d give anything to enjoy a movie or coffee with someone. I will be moving soon and going to be able to go to some coffee shops and maybe just read and see what happens. I also am now a event org. for MSF hoping and knowing God will bring a few new people in my. Along with sharing about MS. Everyone keeps saying you look great can’t even tell you have MS I say can you see if someone has cancer?
      Keep searching if you are not happy with your Doc. they are your support and understanding and comforting people for you.
      Blessings, Live by faith and not by sight

  7. Linda Krupa Quinion O'Connell
    Linda Krupa Quinion O'Connell says:

    I cry everyday after my hubby goes to work. I feel hopeless, useless and I am no good to anyone. I feel scared and then I panic. Penelope you are a brave woman and have my utmost admiration. I just feel so alone. I can’t do things I used to and that bothers me a lot. I also pray a lot.

  8. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Just a weird idea. Friends have had good results trying low dose naltrexone. Did it a couple of times as secondary progressive so off meds and while extremely skeptical two months in think it is helping this time round. The doctor with MS in England uses it on himself and patients. I revisited it as 3 people I know swear it has helped their spasticity. My neurologist was fine about my trying it. So……????
    I

  9. Irene Roeder
    Irene Roeder says:

    There are so many days when I feel no more hope. Tears come often. I love your positive writing. It helps me smile.😭

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Irene I have to many days like that. and very great full for all of you on here and most of all like the positive writings.

  10. Juana Driver says:

    Even after 33 yrs I still find myself in fresh moments of this life altering disease in tears. Not as often as in the beginning but like when I try so hard to carry on and I can’t and I don’t think others understand the struggle. I max out and cry, usually in private but maybe if I shared my tears would they understand, probably not but sure helps to release the water behind the dam! ♡

  11. Roxanne
    Roxanne says:

    Hi Jennifer, you have made my life so much brighter by showing me I do have choices. Your thought provoking words have actually helped big time in making a major life time decision as my MS has progressed. Thank you!!!

    • Jana
      Jana says:

      I feel the same too Laura so we can be lost together! Every day is a new one really! We will be ok.

  12. Tammy Reehl says:

    Yes, I do the thing…cry, cry…but some people don’t understand…they think I need to take control of my emotions…and as you know, when the tears come there is no stopping them…so have to go and be by myself, and allow Jesus to comfort me..
    Luv you all Tammy

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Tammy, the comfort of Jesus is the best.. But sometimes it’s hard to find it at times of my very low point.. But I am taking baby steps so I can feel Him. It’s working and the empty feelings are filled with positive emotions.
      I have learned to cry when it comes and cry hard and boy I feel better afterwards or the next day.
      Blessings

  13. Kim IceQueen says:

    I don’t know if you read minds but thank you for saying this! I felt I was going out my mind for feeling the way I do. I don’t have a definitive diagnosis anymore. All I know is that I didn’t sleep well last night because all of those little nice little leg spasms I kept having plus my brain not shutting off in my sleep. I hate in the morning when you comb your hair or put on your makeup that it hurts your arms about midways. They feel weak and it’s time to sit down. Today I can’t stop crying. I feel defeated because of it. I feel like I’ve done something wrong or I’m defective because I can’t smile through it. I won’t say what my darkest thoughts feel…..but…..thank you for talking about crying. I guess I gotta spend some more time crying.

  14. Eileen Catharine Weldon says:

    Haven’t we all felt that way! It’s true just allow yourself the freedom to express your emotions. It’s such a rough disease and because you look like you’re doing just fine, no one really knows the pain and distress of it all. Hang in there!

  15. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    There is not a day that goes by that you are not in my thoughts Penelope. You have changed the way I view living with this disease, I wanted to say thank you and I just wanted to send you a big supportive hug and lots of love from Canada. You make this world a better place.

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